Culture
Posted: 6 months ago
Author: Nina Gomarteli

Learn Words from Georgian Holiday Vocabulary

Georgia celebrates two Christmases and two New Year's Eves, making the holiday season fairly lengthy. If you're spending the holidays in Georgia, you might want to learn some of the most commonly used words over the season.

Mekvle 

In Georgia, there is one ancient tradition that is still faithfully followed. On New Year's Eve or at dawn, the Mekvle must pay a visit to the family. The Mekvle is the person who enters the host's house when the new year begins and brings the celebrants happiness and prosperity for the next year. Most Mekvles throw candy in the house before entering the house. Mekvle says the following words: "I come and bring joy, happiness, health, goodness, prosperity and joy."

Chichilaki 

The Chichilaki is a traditional Georgian Christmas tree built from dried hazelnut branches that have been shaved into a miniature coniferous tree. Originally, it was a New Year tree, and it is associated with the biblical tradition of the tree of life, as well as Egyptian, Assyrian, and Arian traditions.

Tamada 

If you happen to spend New Year’s Eve on Georgian Supra (feast), chances are high that the feast will have Tamada, same as toastmaster. 

Old New Year 

The Old New Year, also known as the Orthodox New Year, is an informal traditional celebration that marks the start of the Julian calendar's New Year. The Old New Year falls on January 14 in the Gregorian calendar in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Gozinaki 

Gozinaki is a traditional Georgian dessert made of caramelized nuts, mainly walnuts, cooked in honey, and served only on New Year's Eve and Christmas.

Tovlis Babua

Tovlis Babua is a Georgian version of Santa Claus, which word by word means ‘’snow grandfather’’. He wears a white woolen coat, same as Chokha. 

Gilotsavt Akhal Tsels! 

It’s the way to say ‘’Happy New Year!’’ in Georgian. On that note, we want to wish you a happy, successful, and healthy new year!